Monday, May 11, 2009

Will the Real Competition Please Stand Up!

I've been asked, time again by many people, why I share my space and hard-learned information with other jewelry designers. Even my Project Wonderful and Entrecard ad spaces are typically occupied by other jewelry artists.

Most people cannot grasp the idea that jewelry designers, while in a black-and-white world are competitors, don't view each other as such because we are first and foremost artists and artists rarely deal in black-and-white. Even using a black/white color palette, there are so many shades of gray.

Artists feel a connection with other artists, even if we are using the same medium ... even when our art is our business. At every event I attend jewelry artists are drawn to each other and we compare and share notes (and wine, too!). At every on-line community I belong, jewelry artists form their own groups to compare and share information.

It is my pleasure to feature another jewelry artist, Jill of Liv'nGood Jewelry, who is also a fellow chainmailler! The latest post on her blog hits a note in me because we both seem to be having trouble getting caught up on the photography that is necessary to get our art listed on our various on-line selling venues.

I have my eye on a pair of her earrings! I need to sell some of mine so I can buy them. Yes, I said "buy them" because copycats are not playing fair, even if one is copying for their own use.

Jill is also a member of Creative Bloggers and I invite every creative type reading this blog who also blogs to come and join us!

So, there is real competition for jewelry artists, but it is not from other jewelry artists. I'll leave it to the reader to figure it out. I've made a promise to myself not to market me by stomping on others. Besides, there is plenty of room in this wide world for everything under the sun.


Jenn said...

I completely agree, Hilary...I'm making the same promise to myself.

Anna said...

I completely agree! Those I consider my mentors and greatest friends I have made online are other beadweavers, jewelry and bead artists! I don't know what I would do without them. The thing that non-artists don't understand is that even if we create similar items, they are really not the same...each is as unique as their creator! By encouraging each other, we are making ourselves better artists as well.

Designing Hilary said...

Thank you Jenn and Anna ... two jewelry artists I admire!! Please, readers, check out their sites.

Lola D said...

This is very true. I always get excited when I find people who like to make jewelry or write poems or take photos (my 3 creative obsessions!). Most of the people I know from every day do not have such hobbies/businesses. When I do find and we share ideas and techniques it is so much more fun!

Sometimes you do have to "worry" about people stealing your ideas but then again, most of the time if they have to steal it, they can't create what you've done anyway- copy cat not true ARTIST. Once your own personal style is developed, customers and fellow artists recognize it anyway.

Excellent post.

Jenny said...

I love this post! I am a jewelry designer as well and like sharing tips with other jewelry desingers. Also, I have a REALLY hard time keeping up with the photographs as well to sell online! Hilary, thanks for your post!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Well said! I couldn't agree more. We all have different styles.

Anonymous said...

I also think it's about the kind of people we tend to be= usually not cut throat. We see the good in treating one another as friend and in terms of business, it never hurts to boast of someone else's work as we know the favor will most likely be returned. So much of our promotion relies on word of mouth, and gaining links, so why not? Plus being an artist is truly a lonely occupation. It's only natural to seek out the company of like minded others. Good post.

Laura said...

I agree as well. I enjoy sharing information with other jewelry designers. If I have one idea, and you have one idea, then together, we have two.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post and quite true. I have noticed that more than half of the subscribers to my blog are other jewelry artists. I love that because they are often quick to give feedback when I ask for it, quick to offer resources when I am in need of them and they can truly appreciate the trials and tribulations of being an artisan jeweler that I sometimes share with my readers. They are quick with a kind word or inspiration at times of low tide ... I am GLAD I have so many other jewelry artists to share with. :)